How to Winterize a Travel Trailer: Your Complete Guide

How to Winterize a Travel Trailer: Your Complete Guide

As the crisp air and falling leaves herald the arrival of winter, it’s time to prepare your travel trailer for the cold months ahead. Winterizing your travel trailer is a crucial task to protect your investment and ensure it’s ready for your next adventure. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll walk you through the steps on how to winterize a travel trailer. Whether you’re a seasoned traveler or a newbie, our expert advice will ensure your trailer is safe and ready to hit the road when spring arrives.

How to Winterize a Travel Trailer

Inspecting Your Trailer

Before you begin the winterization process, it’s essential to conduct a thorough inspection of your travel trailer. Check for any visible damage or wear and tear. Make a list of any necessary repairs or maintenance. This proactive approach will save you from unexpected issues during the winter.

Gather Your Supplies

To winterize your travel trailer effectively, gather the following supplies:

  • Non-toxic RV antifreeze
  • Water heater bypass kit
  • Screwdriver
  • Wrench
  • Pipe tape
  • Water pump converter kit
  • An air compressor
  • Water heater cleaning wand

Having the right tools and supplies is essential to complete the winterization process successfully.

Protecting the Water Heater: Winterize a Travel Trailer

Draining the Water System

To prevent freezing and damage to your trailer’s plumbing system, it’s crucial to drain the water system completely. Here’s how:

  • Start by turning off the water heater and allowing it to cool.
  • Open all faucets, including both hot and cold water taps.
  • Locate the low point drains and open them to release any remaining water.
  • Drain the fresh water tank and empty the sewage holding tanks.
  • Flush the toilet and pour RV antifreeze down the drains to prevent any remaining water from freezing.

Adding Antifreeze

The next step is to add RV antifreeze to your plumbing system. Follow these steps:

  • Close all the faucets you previously opened.
  • Connect the water pump converter kit to the water pump.
  • Place the end of the kit’s hose into a container of RV antifreeze.
  • Turn on the water pump, and it will pump the antifreeze into the plumbing system.
  • Go through each faucet, one by one, until you see the antifreeze flowing, including the toilet and shower.
  • Don’t forget the exterior shower if your trailer has one.

Protecting the Water Heater

It’s essential to protect your water heater from freezing during the winter months:

  • Bypass the water heater using the water heater bypass kit.
  • Drain any remaining water from the water heater tank.
  • Close the bypass valves to isolate the water heater.

Storing Your Trailer

To ensure your travel trailer stays in excellent condition throughout the winter, consider the following storage tips:

  • Cover the trailer with a durable, breathable RV cover to protect it from the elements.
  • If possible, store your trailer in a covered storage facility or garage.
  • Remove all perishable items and valuables from the trailer to prevent damage or theft.
  • Consider placing moisture absorbers inside to prevent mold and mildew.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

  • How often should I winterize my travel trailer?

You should winterize your travel trailer before the first hard freeze, typically in late fall. It’s crucial to protect your trailer’s plumbing system from damage.

  • Can I use regular antifreeze instead of RV antifreeze?

No, it’s essential to use RV antifreeze specifically designed for recreational vehicles. Regular antifreeze may contain toxic chemicals that can be harmful.

  • Do I need to remove the battery during winter?

Yes, it’s advisable to remove the battery and store it in a cool, dry place. You can also use a battery maintainer to keep it in good condition.

  • Can I skip the water heater bypass if I drain it?

It’s recommended to use the water heater bypass kit even if you’ve drained the water heater. This extra step ensures your water heater’s longevity.

  • What should I do if I spot any damage during the inspection?

If you find any damage during the inspection, it’s crucial to address it promptly. Delaying repairs can lead to more significant problems down the road.


Winterizing your travel trailer is a vital task to ensure it remains in top condition during the cold winter months. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you’ll be well-prepared to protect your investment and make sure your trailer is ready for your next adventure, whether it’s traveling to Japan or any other destination. Don’t forget to follow our expert tips and frequently asked questions to ensure a smooth winterization process.

Hi, I am Donald Chowdhury; I am an entrepreneur, father, mentor and adventurer passionate about life.